I live vicariously through other people’s vacations. I hear them make their plans, see their photos on Facebook, and listen to how much fun they had and how relaxed they are when they come home. I listen wistfully….I want some of that. Vacations are a distant memory; I haven’t had one in over 5 years. I would love to sit on a beach, or at least go somewhere for a change of scenery.
My husband travels a lot. My schedule is unpredictable. We have to plan ahead just to go out to dinner. Then a miracle happened. I looked at our calendar and realized we had about 36 hours of free time over the weekend. An idea began to form in my brain. If we planned carefully, and if we timed everything perfectly, we could head up to our favorite mountain town at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park for a 36 hour vacation.
I had to teach a class on Saturday morning. We could drive up on Saturday afternoon and come home early Monday morning. I planned to get up early, pack my bag, teach my class, and be ready to leave as soon as class was over. My husband was going to get up early, take the dogs to Little Doggy Paradise, pack his bag, take my class, and be ready to go as soon as class was over. Our strategy was carefully planned.
I overslept that morning. Frantic, I realized I wasn’t adequately prepared for class. As I gulped coffee, I reviewed my notes at record speed while I multi tasked. I studied, cleaned the kitchen, packed my bag and started some laundry. It appears I had forgotten about that as well. My husband tried to help, but he had slept in, too. So much for our well laid plans.
Several chaotic hours later, we were finally in the car and on our way. As soon as we arrived and unloaded the car, I sat in the sun in front of the cabin. I kicked off my shoes, leaned back in my chair and soaked in the feel of the sun, the smell of the trees, and the sound of the birds and the river. I could feel myself relaxing already!
Suddenly I heard a dreadful noise coming from the window behind me. My husband had turned on the TV, cranked up the volume, and opened the window. I was dumbfounded. I yelled over the sound of the TV, “What are you doing?” He answered, “It’s college football. I thought you would like to hear the game.” I was speechless. Once I found my voice, I answered, “Mike, in all the years you’ve known me, when have I ever wanted to hear college football?” Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying.
He turned off the TV and joined me on the patio. For the next 36 hours, we had a great time. We went into town, did some window shopping, grilled outside, and even watched a little football. We went hiking, relaxed and just plain enjoyed the mountain air. We even found a sandy little beach next to the river high in the mountains.
When we drove home Monday morning, we both marveled at how relaxing and restorative 36 hours could be. We recounted all of the activities we did, including the fact that I managed to sit on a beach without leaving the state. And I didn’t even have to put on a bathing suit! We had such a good time, I wondered if we could do it again. Hmmm, I’m looking at the calendar and I notice we have a weekend coming up with 28 hours of free time available. Maybe, if we plan carefully…..well, you know how that goes!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP